I’m constantly waging an uphill battle against single-use convenience items. I’ve banished the majority from my home life, and even brought my war to my workplace (a high school). It wasn’t a pretty fight: there were casualties… including the single-serving creamers, the paper coffee cups, and, for a time, the peaceful atmosphere of our staff room: colleagues caught with a paper cup (during my “Bring your own mug you lazy buffoons*” campaign) would either try to hide it from me or outright apologize. And let me tell you: Maman Loup is not a mean Green Queen, she’s just persistent. Even an anonymous, angry letter during the “Campaign for Milk in Cartons” (as opposed to in those little single-serving cups) didn’t dissuade me.
*That’s not actually what I called it, but I think it was implied…
Known to my face as a Militant Greenie (and behind my back as the Recycling B*tch, a moniker I have embraced), I fight what I consider to be the good fight: small changes in the lifestyles of many to reduce our impact on our only home.
The removal of disposable cutlery from our staff room and cafeteria was a particularly contentious fight and it is still ongoing. The battle involved slowly phasing out the seemingly endless supply of throwaway utensils that the school was (unnecessarily, if you ask me) paying for so its employees might avoid eating with their fingers. My argument has and always will be: bring your own cutlery! But people forget, so a supply of delightfully classy silverware was supplied with the request that people do their own dishes! As for the cafeteria, the school’s Green Team (spearheaded by, you guessed it, the Recycling B*tch) even used some grant money to purchase enough silverware to feed all the students, every lunch hour. Sadly, most of this silverware has been (unintentionally) thrown in the garbage along with the other single-use items on cafeteria trays… so there is still work to do.
Unless one has a Militant Greenie sensibility (and stubbornness), converting people from the convenience of one-time use items to the commitment of reusable (be it cloth diapers, reusable water bottles and coffee cups, cloth napkins or reusable grocery bags) often takes a heck of a lot of energy. Compromises can sometimes be made!
Between 100% disposable and landfill bound to 100% reusable and passed on from generation to generation is an area of compromise that can keep both sides happy. From my point of view, these items are often “the best of the worst,” that is, the absolute best option if you absolutely cannot opt for a reusable item. Among these products I turn to gDiaper inserts when I cannot use cloth (and I compost them if possible), brown paper towels (also composted) and Radius toothbrushes with a reusable handle and replaceable brush head.
Enter Aspenware Compostable Cutlery: a product that can cut through my picnic lunch and my desire to go 100% reusable. If it can’t be 100% reusable, I’ll take a product that is 100% sustainable not only in its composition and its disposal but also in the economic model of the company manufacturing it.
And compare that to:
As you can tell by everything I’ve so long-winded-ly*** told you, I am going to bring my own utensils with me 99% of the time. But for those times that it isn’t feasible or logical, I’m totally excited about Aspenware because it’s:
A) Made in my home province of BC;
B) Environmentally friendly, from beginning to end, as outlined here;
C) Smooth to the touch (other brands I’ve tried feel rough and splintery);
D) Sturdy: You can actually eat comfortably and effectively, including cutting your food…. I made a video, but I’m a vegetarian so I’m not cutting steak, but rather an apple and some semi-frozen baguette:
***If “twerk” can be a verb, then “longwindedly” can be an adverb.
So when would I personally use Aspenware?
The number one reason I would use these is for the lunch kit. I was notorious for losing all kinds of Tupperware and utensils (and shoes, and umbrellas, and Walkmans…) as a child and I don’t doubt my little progeny will be much different. I’d love to pack him these utensils, and hopefully by the time he starts school, all classrooms will have compost bins!
I’ll also buy Aspenware for outings where toting and washing loads of cutlery isn’t feasible, such as a big kiddie picnic party in the park. When I do go back to work, I’ll also keep a stash in my drawer, and I’d love to see our school’s cafeteria switch over to these, along with fully biodegradable dishes, since “real” dishes and silverware seem to be a bit of a challenge.